Blackballed: the Bobby Duke Story



I don’t often write about movies, except perhaps documentaries, but Blackballed is different. First, it’s a largely improvised mockumentary, much in the vein of the sublime Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman. Second, it’s premise is the struggles of disgraced star of a fairly rediculous ‘sport’, like Dodgeball. Thirdly it has a ‘losers to champions’ theme of great underdog films like Revenge of the Nerds and Murderball. Those are some of the reasons I enjoyed it.

The main reason I went to see it, however is that stars the Daily Show’s Rob Courdry. I guess Comedy Central doesn’t have an iron in this fire, because neither the Daily Show nor Comedy Central seem to be promoting the work of one of their own. The film isn’t in large theatrical release, it’s just in small houses around the country in limited release. But Tucson is one of the very few lucky cities wherein you can see this film: at our own non-profit, beer serving, The Loft.

There were only 5 people besides myself in the theater when I saw this film last night. And I laughed my ass off. I got verklempt. I experience hatred, contempt, pity, exileration – and a headache. The film totally delivered on every level you want a good comedy to deliver on, but it was shot using the conceit of an amatuer hand-hand documentary. They should have used a steady cam, especially during the battle scenes, although I must say they did an amazing job of making a paintball war feel like the beach landing scenes of Saving Private Ryan by overamping the audio and resetting the white point. It felt scary as hell.

More people should go see this film while it’s here. Unlike too many comedy films, this one is genuinely funny – consistently amusing, and frequently bust your gut hilarious. Plus Rob Courdry. We should do whatever we can to support our Comic Actors for Truth squad at the Daily Show and Colbert Report.